The primary mission of the Plainfield FPD Training Division is to provide on-going training, education and certification to fire service personnel. This is necessary to insure a competent, efficient and effective emergency response organization. Our members participate in weekly training drills that cover a wide variety of topics including fire suppression, tactics, EMS, technical rescue, vehicle extrication, building construction, drivers training, water rescue, hazardous materials, WMD/Terrorism response, mass casualty and disaster response. In addition to weekly training; additional classes and seminars are also available through colleges, organizations, other departments and specialized training facilities like the Illinois Fire Service Institute and the National Fire Academy. PFPD personnel regularly participate in training to be able to provide the best service possible and safely mitigate any emergency in our community. During 2014 PFPD personnel logged over 60,000 hours of training.
The fire district is currently constructing a training facility behind our Headquarters Campus on 135th Street. The training facility will allow us to further enhance our current training program in regards to live fire training, firefighting tactics, search and rescue of trapped occupants, technical rescue scenarios and training for hazardous materials incidents. The addition of the training tower will continue to build upon our operational effectiveness, safety and personal development of the members of the Plainfield Fire Protection District.
The Plainfield Fire Protection District has 3 specialty teams that respond to specific incidents that require specialized rescue equipment and training. Members of these teams are required to obtain certifications that are specific to the emergency they will encounter.
The Plainfield Hazardous Material team is a member of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Division 15 Hazardous Materials Team. The team roster consists of 10 members from Plainfield FPD along with members from the Troy FPD, Elwood FPD, the Will County Emergency Management Agency and other Division 15 Fire Departments. Team members are certified in Hazmat Operations, hazmat Technician Levels A & B along with Hazardous Materials Incident Command.
The PFPD currently staffs and responds with the MABAS 15 Decontamination Vehicle which is housed at Station 4. The vehicle is equipped to serve as a mobile decontamination/shower unit. Decon 15 responds to incident within Plainfield, surrounding fire districts and statewide for deployment to hazardous materials incidents, terrorism incidents and natural disasters as requested. The vehicle is also equipped with reference materials, science manuals and equipment used to assist in the mitigation of these incidents. Along with Decon 15, the MABAS 15 Hazardous Materials Team is equipped with several other vehicles and assets to assist in the management of incidents.
In 2014 Decon 15 assisted the Elwood FPD with a hazardous materials incident at Stepan Chemical as well as other minor incidents within PFPD and surrounding fire departments. Plainfield Team members also participated in a full scale drill at the Lyondell Refinery in Morris simulating a mock tornado that struck the facility causing a simulated chemical leak of a railcar.
The Plainfield Water Rescue Team has developed from a basic dive team that was started in 1984 into a highly trained multi-disciplined Water Rescue Team. The Plainfield Water Rescue Team is currently operating with 15 members. Team members are certified in Public Safety Rescue Diver, Surface Ice Rescue, Sub Surface Ice Diving, Swift Water Rescue, Water Craft Technicians, as well as certified tenders and SONAR equipment technicians. In order to achieve this high level of training its members have committed countless hours in obtaining certifications and continuing education. Members also bring in top level instructors from across the county to stay current with best practices in these disciplines.
In 2008 the Water Rescue Team was approved to replace its 30 year old vehicle with a custom specialized rescue vehicle that not only carries equipment but also functions as a rehab area as well as a command post. The Water Rescue Team has 2 aluminum jon boats as well as an inflatable Zodiac rescue boat. Team members are also equipped with modern rescue gear, including wireless and hard line underwater communications equipment and side scan SONAR.
In 2009 the Water Rescue Team started to move towards being the MABAS 15 Team. Currently the active members of the MABAS 15 team are made up of Channahon, Minooka, Braidwood, Wilmington, Coal City, Troy and Morris. Together these departments responded to 10 incidents in 2014. These incidents ranged from drowning, assisting boaters in distress and evidence recovery with one incident requiring a joint rescue operation between the Water Rescue Team and CART. In 2015 the MABAS 15 Water Team is recognized as a Class A Water Rescue Team within the state of Illinois.
Due to the nature of the different types of calls the Water Rescue Team responds to, it actively works with multiple government and private agencies including Federal, State, Multiple County and local Law Enforcement, County Coroners Offices, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the US Coast Guard, Canine Search Teams (both private and government) and private search organizations.
Combined Area Rescue Team (CART)
The Combined Area Rescue Team (CART), also referred to as the Technical Rescue Team (TRT), is responsible for specialized rescues in incidents that involve structural collapse, trench rescues, confined space rescues and high angle rescues. Some examples of specialized rescues CART would handle include: stabilizing a building collapse in order to conduct search and rescue, rescue of a person working on a cell tower or water tower that needs medical assistance. CART is made up of members form multiple agencies and the team the PFPD is part of covers a geographical area of approximately 1,000 square miles. The CART regularly trains to keep current on their specialized rescue skills and certifications including training with the international Union of Operating Engineers Local 150.